A Rockport storefront.

The Rockport Group has filed a voluntary Chapter 11 bankruptcy petition, and is in the process agreed to be acquired by CB Marathon Opco, an affiliate of Charlesbank Equity Fund IX, through a so-called “stalking horse” agreement.

The filing in Delaware by Rockport and its U.S. and Canadian subsidiaries and stalking horse agreement constitute a what is known as a pre-packaged bankruptcy filing. Under the terms of the asset purchase agreement, Charlesbank would acquire “substantially all of Rockport’s assets.”

Those assets include Rockport’s global wholesale assets, e-commerce platform and retail operations in Asia and Europe. The equity fund will also have a chance to evaluate Rockport’s North American retail operations and determine if it wants to acquire certain locations. Rockport said it plans to close the retail stores not acquired by Charlesbank or another party.

The company also said that its agreement with Charlesbank includes a provision in which the equity fund would assume responsibility for payment of certain pre-petition obligations to the company’s vendors for the assets it is slated to acquire.

Because of the filing, Charlesbank agreement to acquire Rockport is subject to better offers during a bankruptcy court approved auction.

Rockport is a manufacturer of men’s and women’s footwear since 1971.

Rockport said it has secured a $20 million debtor-in-possession financing facility. The company said that the DIP package, combined with its $60 million credit facility, would provide the footwear firm with “liquidity to maintain its operations through the sale process.”

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